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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trinity Challenges


(From the RDB Files)


CLEAR CHALLENGES FOR THE TRINITY DOCTRINE

(With added material)

"trinity ...1. [cap.] Theol. The union of three persons or hypostases (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) in one Godhead, so that all the three are one God as to substance, but three persons or hypostases as to individuality. 2. Any synbol of the Trinity in art. 3. Any union of three in one; a triad; as the Hindu trinity, or Trimurti." - Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Co., 1961. (underlined emphasis added by me.)

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Athanasian Creed:

"And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other, none is greater or less than others; but the whole three persons are co- eternal together; and co-equal. So that in all things as is aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

"HE THEREFORE THAT WILL BE SAVED MUST THUS THINK OF THE TRINITY."
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"Trinity, the Most Holy

"The most sublime mystery of the Christian faith is this: 'God is absolutely one in nature and essence, and relatively three in Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who are really distinct from each other." - p. 584, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers, 1976.
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The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
"1. The Term 'Trinity':
"The term "Trinity" is not a Biblical term, and we are not using Biblical language when we define what is expressed by it as the doctrine that there is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence." - p. 3012, Vol. IV, Eerdmans, 1984.


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Challenges from scripture itself:

(A) Please carefully and thoroughly search to find a vision, dream, or clear description in scripture wherein God is shown as more than one person.

(This is really not that difficult. Either there is a vision, dream, description, etc. somewhere in scripture clearly showing the one God as three persons or there isn't. Either way, it should not be difficult to ascertain and admit truthfully.)

………………………………............

(B) Please show where in scripture God is ever described using the word "three."

(Either God is described somewhere in scripture using the word "three" as part of a description of Him, or He is not. Either way it should not be difficult to ascertain and admit truthfully.)

……………………………….............

(C) Please find a clear, direct, undisputed statement (equivalent to 'Jesus is the Christ' or "YHWH is the Father" which are found repeatedly in clear undisputed scriptures) which declares:
'YHWH is the Son,' or 'YHWH is the Firstborn,' or, 'YHWH is the Messiah (or "Christ"), or any other equally clear, undisputed statement (or personal name) that 'Jesus is YHWH' (the only God according to scripture).

……………………………….................

Since the Father is clearly, directly, and indisputably called "God, the Father," many, many times, and the Son and Holy Spirit are said by trinitarians to be equally the one God (in ‘three distinct persons’):

(D) Please give equally clear, undisputed scriptures where Jesus is called "God the Son," (equal to those which declare "God, the Father" – Ro. 15:6; 1 Cor. 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 11:31; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 4:6; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; etc.)

and,

………………………………....................

(E) Please give equally clear, undisputed scriptures where the Holy Spirit is called "God, the Holy Spirit."

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(F) If Jesus and/or the first century Christians (considered a sect of Judaism at that time) truly believed that Jesus was God, How could they possibly be allowed to teach in the temple and synagogues as they were?

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(G) If John truly believed the new ‘knowledge’ of Jesus being equally God, why would he summarize and conclude his Gospel with, “But these [the Gospel of John] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…”

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(H) When the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were attempting to gather evidence to kill Jesus, why did they have to hire false witnesses? And why did these same priests and false witnesses never say that Jesus believed (or taught) that he was God? Instead the high priest finally said to Jesus: “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” - Matt. 26:59-63 NIV.  Jesus’ admission to this charge (being the Christ, the Son of God) is what caused the Jewish leaders to condemn him to death.

Obviously these officials had never heard anyone accuse Jesus or his followers claim that Jesus was God!

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Challenge from creation itself:

Ro. 1:20, NASB - "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

(I) Please show where in nature mankind would clearly see the three-in-oneness (or just threeness) of God from the beginning. (This would have to be something as clear and important as the single sun in the sky which has been recognized to support life from the beginning. Or the man made in God's image, was made with a single personality, a single body, a single head, a single heart.)

I believe any objective observer would admit that the answers to these simple scriptural challenges (A-H above) should be abundantly, clearly, indisputably available if the trinity (or ‘Jesus is God’) worshipers are correct.

To look for rare instances of unclear, disputed scriptures which have to be interpreted to fit a trinitarian concept (developed after the death of the last Apostle and the completion of Scripture) and convince yourself that they are "proofs" is a tragic error.

God has always existed as God and, therefore, His people should have always known who He was and worshiped him in truth.

To believe that God withheld this information from his people (or made it something to be interpreted from unclear references) from the beginning (and throughout all Scriptures) is a tragic error.

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Let's examine, one by one, what should be found in scripture (if the trinity were true) as listed above.

(A) Please carefully and thoroughly search to find a vision, dream, or clear description in scripture wherein God is shown as more than one person.

Here is what I have found when searching the scriptures for visions of God:

Even though God has caused a representation of himself to be "seen" in dreams and visions, we still don’t know exactly what he "physically" looks like. Still, we should get some idea of the essential knowledge he wants us to know about himself from these inspired visions. We know that he always represents himself as a single person seated on a throne.

For example, at Ezekiel 1:5, 6, 26-28 we see God as he showed himself to Ezekiel in a vision.

"and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man, but each of them had four faces..." - Ezek. 1:5-6, NIV.

Now if this had actually been the description of God, "multiple-oneness God" fans would have had the best proof ever for their passion: we would finally have some real evidence for a multiple-oneness God: a four-in-one God (a "Quadrinity")! But these four persons, each with four faces, represent God’s attendants (cherubim), not God. Each one represents 4 different aspects by its 4 faces. Can you imagine what would be said by trinitarians if God were similarly described as three persons each with three faces?!

The point is that God could (and did) show a clear representation of "multiple-oneness" in vision to his inspired prophet, but he never represented himself in such a manner!

Notice that each of these living creatures was in appearance like a man. And every aspect that differed from that of "a man" was carefully described.

Now notice the rest of the vision:

"Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a [single] throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a [single] figure like that of a [single] man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist [singular] up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of [Jehovah]." - Ezek. 1:26-28, NIV.

Remember, we just had a description of spirit persons each of whom looked like a man (except for having four faces). Now we have a description of another person who looks like a man. The differences from the appearance of a man are also noted but do not include anything that would make us think he was, in any way, anything more than a single person! Not three persons, not three heads, not three faces, etc. (In fact, nowhere in the entire Bible is the word "three" associated with a description of God!)

This simply would not be if God were truly three persons! God is a single person, the Father alone, Jehovah.

Now let’s see Daniel’s vision of God:

"the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head [singular] was white like wool. His throne [singular] was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze." - Dan. 7:9, NIV.

Notice that, again, he looks like a single person.

And then,

"one, like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days [seated on the throne] and was led into his presence." - Dan. 7:13, NIV.

So we see a single person seated on God’s throne and another person (the Messiah) being led into God’s presence.

Now let’s see the Apostle John’s vision which parallels Daniel’s vision:

"At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper.... In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures.... Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty...’ [and] ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, ... for you created all things, and by your will they were created....’ Then I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides.... Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain.... He came and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne." - Rev. 4:2, 3, 6, 8, 11; 5:1, 6, 7, NIV.

Again we see a single person on the throne who is God Almighty (Jehovah). And, again, we see the Christ approach God on his throne. And we see this one on the throne again at Rev. 19:4.

"The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: ‘Amen, Hallelujah! ["praise Jehovah "]’" - NIV.

Another important vision of God is that of Stephen.

"But Stephen, full of Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’" - Acts 7:55, 56, NIV.

Again we see God (not "God the Father," or "the Father," but God) as a single person and Jesus as another person (not God, however). And never (in any vision, dream, etc.) do we see the "person" of the Holy Spirit! God is the Father alone - a single person - Jehovah.

God simply has not revealed himself in clear, undisputed scripture as anything but a single person, the Father. The Jews never understood him in any other way. Jesus did not reveal him in any other way. The NT writers did not reveal him in any other way (other than through generalizations, "mystery" solving, and allegorical interpretations which allow a reader to find whatever he is looking for). And the very first Christians (up into the second century at least) did not understand God in any other way.


If God were three persons, it would have been revealed clearly and repeatedly from the beginning. This is essential knowledge of God, and all worshipers of the true God have needed such knowledge from the beginning. God would not have withheld it from his chosen people throughout the thousands of years of his Prophets and inspired scripture writers.

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The second point asked for was:

(B) Please show where in scripture God is ever described using the word "three."

Using Concordances for the KJV (Strong's and Young's Concordances) and the NASB (New American Standard Concordance of the Bible, Lockman Foundation 1981) I have found absolutely no scriptures which use the word "three" in describing God.

Isn't the word "three" at least as important as the word "one' (which is used for God in scripture, e.g. 1 Cor. 8:6) for the knowledge of the God whom we must worship in truth (Jn 4:24) - -that is,  if the trinity doctrine were actually true?

Not only is the word "three" never used in conjunction with God anywhere in the Holy Scriptures (which simply could not be if God were really a "trinity"!), but it isn’t even as scripturally important as many other numbers ("one," "seven," "twelve," for example)!

There are "very few traces of ‘three’ in the cultus and the religious conceptions of the Israelites .... This relative rarity of a connexion between ‘three’ and religious notions, which prevails in the OT, should not be [supplied] from other sources. The thunder call, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jahweh (the?) one’ (Dt 6:4, cf. Is 41:4 44:6 48:12 ), drowns the voice of those who refer us to the triads of gods that were adored by the Babylonians, Assyrians, (Anu, Bel, and Ea, etc. ...), and other nations of antiquity. .... But the original meaning of the OT text must not be modified to suit either heathen parallels or later stages in its own development." - pp. 565, 566, Vol. 3, A Dictionary of the Bible, Hastings (trinitarian), ed., Hendrickson Publ. (trinitarian), 1988 printing.

"Although three has widely been thought a sacred number [by trinitarians, of course], specifically religious uses of it in the Bible seem to be relatively few." - p. 687, Vol. 2, The New International Dictionary of the New Testament (trinitarian), Zondervan Publ. (trinitarian), 1986.


If there were even hints of a trinity to be found in Scripture, the one word we would regularly see with religious significance would be "three." The fact that it is relatively insignificant throughout Scripture should be enough in itself to refute any idea of a trinity!

………………………………………

In challenge (A) above we find that All the visions and dreams in all scripture which show God, show him as one person only, and in challenge (B) we discover that the word "three" is never used in describing God anywhere in clear, undisputed scripture.


Third:

(C) Please find a clear, direct, undisputed scriptural statement equivalent to 'Jesus is the Christ' or "YHWH is the Father" (which really are found repeatedly in clear, undisputed scriptures) which declares:

'YHWH is the Son,' or 'YHWH is the Firstborn,' or, 'YHWH is the Messiah (or "Christ"), or any other equally clear, undisputed statement (or personal name) that 'Jesus is YHWH' (the only God according to scripture).


This challenge, (C) above, is mostly confined to the OT Scriptures, since it requires use of the only personal name of God: YHWH (transliterated ‘JEHOVAH’ – Ps. 83:18, KJV or "Jehovah" - Ex. 3:15, ASV; NEB; MLB; LB; KJIIV and MKJV; Byington; Young’s; and Darby or ‘Yahweh’ – Ex. 3:15, AT; JB; NJB; World English Bible).

God is named YHWH, which is rendered in most English Bibles as "LORD" (all capitals), 'Yahweh,' and/or 'Jehovah.' The KJV uses 'JEHOVAH' at Ps. 83:18, but 'LORD 'in nearly all the other 6000+ places it is found in the Hebrew manuscripts.

There is no other God but YHWH (Is. 45:5, 45:21; 46:9; Ps. 83:16-18). [See end note A]

There are clear direct, undisputed statements that YHWH is the Father (e.g., Isaiah 64:8 "But now, O Jehovah, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." - ASV).

There are a number of personal names in scripture which mean "God is YHWH" (Elijah); "YHWH is God" (Joel).

But more important, there are a number of personal names in scripture which mean "YHWH is the Father" (e.g., Abijah; Abia; Joab). These names are also clear, direct undisputed statements of who YHWH, the only God, is: the Father.

So my scriptural challenge here, (C), is to

Please find a clear, direct, undisputed scriptural statement which is equivalent to 'Jesus is the Christ' or 'YHWH is the Father' (which really are found repeatedly in clear, undisputed scriptures) which declares:

'YHWH is the Son,' or 'YHWH is the Firstborn,' or, 'YHWH is the Messiah (or "Christ"), or any other equally clear, undisputed statement (or personal name) that 'Jesus is YHWH' (the only God according to scripture).

Yes, it would most likely be found in the OT, but that is where the scriptures are which we have referred to! The OT is, of course the largest part of the Bible and is the only scripture known to Jesus and his followers during his lifetime on earth.

Nevertheless, it could still be found in personal names in the NT (as it was in the OT), since the only uses of God’s personal name found in still-existing NT manuscripts are in personal names and the phrase ‘Hallelujah’ (‘Praise Jehovah.’):

Some of the names in the NT which contain God's personal name: Uriah; Abijah ('The Father is Jehovah') NKJV, ASV; RSV, NRSV, JB, etc.; Jehoshaphat; Jehoram; Uzziah; Hezekiah; Josiah; Jeconiah; Ananias ['Jehovah is Gracious'] - "a common Jewish name, the same as Hananiah." - Today's Dictionary of the Bible, (Ananias, 'high priest at Jerusalem, A.D. 60' - Young's) - Acts 23:2; 24:1.

So people (including a high priest) were still being given personal names which had YHWH's personal name as part of their meaning in NT times. Also 'Elijah' (which means ‘God is Jehovah’) is used 30 times in the NT.

And in Luke 1:5 Zechariah; and Abijah NKJV, ASV; NASB; RSV; NRSV; JB; etc. This is the name of one of the 24 priestly divisions and named by Luke as such in the NT in connection with Zechariah the priest, John the Baptist's Father. This priestly division of Abijah (which means 'The Father is Jehovah') existed until the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

Therefore, there is no reason why personal names, even in the NT, should not have had the meaning of "The Son is YHWH" or the "Holy Spirit is YHWH" (just as so many were named "The Father is YHWH"). Except of course, the obvious one:

No Christian or Jew believed such a thing!

There are no such statements or meanings of personal names in any of the scriptures!


The one true Most High God simply has not revealed himself in any scriptural vision, representation, or dream as anything but a single person, the Father. The Jews never understood him in any other way. Jesus did not reveal him in any other way. The NT writers did not reveal him in any other way (other than by generalizations, "mystery" solving, allegorical interpretations, or disputed translating of trinitarian theologians). And the very first Christians (up to the second century A.D. at least) did not understand God in any other way.

If God were truly three persons, it would have been revealed clearly and repeatedly from the beginning. This is essential knowledge of God, and all worshipers of the true God have needed such knowledge from the beginning. God would not have withheld it from his chosen people throughout the thousands of years of his prophets and inspired scripture writers.

………………………………………..

The fourth request for clear undisputed evidence of a trinity (or Jesus being 'equally God') asked for in Msg #1:

"Since the Father is clearly, directly, and indisputably called "God, the Father," many, many times, and the Son and Holy Spirit are said by trinitarians to be equally the one God (in ‘three distinct persons’):

"(D) Please give equally clear, undisputed scriptures where Jesus is called "God the Son," (equal to those declaring "God, the Father" – Ro. 15:6; 1 Cor. 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 11:31; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 4:6; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; etc.)"

You could add "God, the Christ," "God, the Messiah," "God, the Firstborn," or any other term used exclusively for Jesus. But, surely, if the trinity were true, we would find the term "God, the Son" used equally as often as "God, the Father"!

Using a Bible concordance (Strong's, Young's, or an on-line concordance will do) and looking under "Son," you will find exactly zero uses of "God the Son."

Jesus is never called "God, the Son"!

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The fifth request for undisputed, clear, repeated evidence of a trinity (or that a person other than the Father is equally God with him) as requested in message #1 was:

 

(E) Please give equally clear, undisputed scriptures where the Holy Spirit is called "God, the Holy Spirit."

 

Again, when one searches through a good concordance ("spirit" or "holy"), he finds that there is never an instance of 'God, the Holy Spirit' to be found in scripture!  Nor any other clear, undisputed, repeated evidence that the HS is equally God.

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(F) If Jesus and/or the first century Christians - considered a sect of (the single-person God) Judaism at that time - truly believed that Jesus was God, how could they possibly be allowed to teach in the temple and synagogues as they were?

 

Ac 13:14-15 -


14 But going on from Perga, they arrived at Pisidian Antioch, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading of the Law and the Prophets the synagogue officials sent to them, saying, "Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it." ….


Ac 14:1 -

In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks.


Acts 17:1 Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ."

Ac 18:4 -
And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

Ac 19:8 -
And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading {them} about the kingdom of God.

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Teaching in the Temple

Mt 26:55 -
At that time Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as {you would} against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.

Mr 12:35 -
And Jesus answering began to say, as He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?

Lu 21:37, 38 -
Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet.
And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him. -

Ac 5:42 -

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

If there had been any suspicion that the Christian sect believed in or taught a three-person God (or any other Most High God equal to YHWH), they would never have even been allowed inside the temple or a synagogue. They certainly would never have been considered a sect of Judaism (as they were).

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(G) If John, the last NT writer, truly believed the new ‘knowledge’ of Jesus being equally God, why would he summarize and conclude his Gospel with, “But these [the Gospel of John] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…” John 20:30-31.

Why in the world would he completely ignore the greatest Christian ‘revelation’ of all (‘God is three persons’) - unless it is not really true?

……………………………….................

(H) When the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were attempting to gather evidence to kill Jesus, why did they have to hire false witnesses? And why did these same priests and false witnesses never say that Jesus believed (or taught) that he was God? Instead the high priest finally said to Jesus: “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God” - Matt. 26:59-63 NIV
 
Jesus’ admission to this charge (being the Christ, the Son of God) is what caused the Jewish leaders to condemn him to death.


Clearly the priests and the High Priest were unaware of any hint that Jesus or his followers believed Jesus was equally God![B]

These events were somewhat paralleled by the treatment of Paul by the Jewish leaders (Acts 23-26 -- note esp. 24:14). And yet he was never accused of believing or teaching that Jesus was equally God!

……………………………….................

The final statement or challenge was:
 

"Ro. 1:20, NASB - ‘For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.’

"(I) Please show where in nature mankind would clearly see the three-in-oneness (or just threeness) of God from the beginning. (This would have to be something as clear and important as the single sun in the sky which has been recognized to support life from the beginning. Or the man made in God's image, was made with a single personality, a single body, a single head, a single heart.)"

And the answer is that there is nothing of real consequence that clearly shows a threeness in God's creation which would be obvious to men from the beginning.  There are a number of very important 'onenesses' in God's creation which have been very obvious to men from the beginning, but no threenesses.

………………………………

 

End Notes:


[A]
In the introduction to the New American Standard Bible (NASB), we find that it is intended to modernize the American Standard Version (ASV) which it praises highly for its accuracy (p. vi).

Furthermore, it admits that where the ASV has transliterated the Hebrew name of God (YHWH) as "Jehovah," the NASB has returned to the older practice of replacing the name (transliterated by OT scholars as "Yahweh" or more often,"Jehovah") with "LORD" (all capitals).
.........................................

Deut. 4:35. "To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD [YHWH], He is God; there is no other besides Him. NASB
Deut. 4:35 Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that Jehovah [YHWH] he is God; there is none else besides him. ASV
......................................
Deut. 4:39. "Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. NASB
Deut. 4:39 Know therefore this day, and lay it to thy heart, that Jehovah he is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath; there is none else. ASV

...............................
2 kings 19:19, NASB "Now, O LORD our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God."
2 Kings 19:19, ASV Now therefore, O Jehovah our God, save thou us, I beseech thee, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou Jehovah art God alone.
..................................

Ps. 86:10, 11, NASB 10 For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God. 11 Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.

Ps 86:10, 11, ASV 10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone. 11 Teach me thy way, O Jehovah; I will walk in thy truth: Unite my heart to fear thy name.
........................................

Psalms 83:18 That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth. NASB

Psalms 83:18 That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, Art the Most High over all the earth. ASV
..............................................
Isaiah 45:5, NASB "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.
Isaiah 45:5 ASV I am Jehovah, and there is none else; besides me there is no God.
....................................

Isaiah 45:21, NASB Is it not I, the LORD ? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.
Isaiah 45:21 ASV who hath declared it of old? have not I, Jehovah? and there is no God else besides me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none besides me.

............................................
Isaiah 45:22, NASB Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.

Isaiah 45:22 ASV Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else

.................................................................................

[B]   We see the same lack of understanding that Jesus claimed to be God at Luke 19:47, 48; 20:20 and 22:1,2.  If it had been understood by them (and most other Jews) that Jesus claimed to be God, he would have been stoned to death on the spot.

Furthermore, even after the death of Jesus, the Jewish leaders still didn’t believe that he or his followers (or anyone else) had claimed that Jesus was God.  They still believed that he had been an impostor claiming to be the Messiah!!

Matt. 27:63 shows them calling him an impostor - RSV, NRSV, ESV, JB, NJB, NAB (‘70 and ‘91), NEB, REB, MLB - and the next verse is interpreted by trinitarian commentators (and reason itself) as these Jewish leaders understanding that Jesus’ return from death would be worse than his claim to be the Messiah:

NIVSB - “27:64  This last deception will be worse than the first. The first would be that Jesus was the Messiah, the second that he had risen as the Son of God.” - footnote.

This same interpretation can be found in many other trinitarian commentaries such as:

A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures - “The first fraud was belief in the Messiahship of Jesus, the second belief in his resurrection.”

“so the last error shall be worse than the first--the imposture of His pretended resurrection worse than that of His pretended Messiahship.” - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary.

“The last error shall be worse than the first - That is, the last “deception,” or the taking him from the tomb, pretending that he rose, will have a wider influence among the people than the first, or his pretending to be the Messiah.” - Barnes’ Notes.

“What they now wanted was a way of safeguarding the tomb, in order that the body might not be stolen by fanatical disciples and His resurrection then proclaimed. In that event, they believe that the last delusion, the belief in the resurrection of Jesus, would be worse than the first one was, the belief in His Messiahship.” - The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

“The last error, namely, the false impression that he has risen from the dead, will be worse than the first error - the impression made by his impostures that he was the Messiah.” - Vincent's Word Studies.

Clearly, the Jewish leaders themselves never believed that Jesus or his followers claimed that he was God!



 



 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Trinitarians teach that the concept of ONE God is emphasized throughout all of scripture since idolatry was quite prevalent even up to and including the time of Christ. But since scripture does not state verbatim that one God means only one person, the one person concept remains an academic and objective and even a reasonable ASSUMPTION before and after the 4th century. Hence the Trinity does not violate scripture since scripure allows for at least the possibility of multi persons in God.

aservantofJehovah said...

If this one God were three persons why is this not explicitly stated. if you examine the text you will see that Whenever Elohim is used of A single God this single God is always a single person e.g exodus7:1 there is not one single place in scripture where the term God is used to refer to a multiperson God.Further according to the shema at deuteronomy the one God of israel is Jehovah(ie the father Isaiah64:8) alone no one else see also psalms83:18.Further only singular personal pronouns are ever used by the bible writers when referring to Jehovah.So then the natural assumption as held by the Jews for Centuries is that Jehovah God is a single person.Note that our lord and savior is in full agreement with this understanding of Jehovah as a single person as held by the Jews of his day and endorses it as the correct view of the one God John4:22